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Osceola Seminole Warrior Leader

Chief Osceola

Osceola County derives its name from Billy Powell, son of British trader William Powell and his Creek wife Polly Copinger. Born in Alabama in 1804, Powell adopted the name Osceola, which means "black drink crier", at a tribal ceremony around 1820. After leading several small but successful raids against the Army over the next decade, Osceola was captured on Dec. 31, 1837 and died one month later at Fort Moultrie in South Carolina.

Osceola was never a "Chief," but was a feared and respected leader nonetheless. It is said that Army doctor Frederick Weedon removed his head as a souvenir and would leave it on the bedposts of children he felt needed discipline.